Self-directed learning is the heart of our work at Coaches Across Continents. Our Hat-Trick Initiative is based on our “Chance to Choice” curriculum. Over the three years of our partnerships, we want local coaches and leaders to develop into self-directed learners. We then know that they will adapt this model to encourage the next generation of self-directed learners.
Self-directed learners possess attitudes such as independence of mind, confidence in their own judgement, a sense of self-esteem leading to self-actualization and the ability to cooperate and collaborate with others. They are independent thinkers who can define and solve problems, reason logically, engage in the imaginative projection of their own ideas and set goals and strategies to achieve them. They reflect upon experience and learn from it.
Over the course of our three year Hat Trick Initiative, we teach a portion of our curriculum each year to the local coaches. They learn using different famous footballers as role models. We teach four main modules through each player, which are Football for Conflict Resolution including Social Inclusion, Football for Female Empowerment including Gender Equity, Football for Health and Wellness including HIV/AIDS behavioral change, and Football Skills for Life. These four modules teach factual information as well as look to develop self-directed learners over the course of our partnerships.
In the first year of our partnership, the coaches learn what sport for social impact entails and how to use sport to educate instead of just creating the best footballers. In the second year we see local coaches beginning to adapt our games to address their own social issues. In the third and final year we see local coaches identifying and recognizing their most pressing local social issues, creating new football-based games to teach about these issues, and implementing these new games with the youth in their programs. If coaches can identify, create, and implement solutions to a problem – they have become self-directed learners. This means that they are capable of solving all manners of problems both on and off-field in their communities. If we are able to help create self-directed learners, they will possess the ability to solve their own locally-relevant problems in a sustainable manner as well as continue this educational model for future generations to follow. This is ultimate success for Coaches Across Continents.